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I know that (neck) and (shoulder) contains flesh, but they aren't the fleshiest, most sarcous or adipose, unlike the butt.

  1. If CUHK is proclaiming that 肩 resembles a shoulder, I can't see the resemblance.

  2. I also don't understand how the shoulder can be "the body's gate". Yellowbridge

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  1. CUHK and Yellowbridge don't expound 脖.
3

If CUHK is proclaiming that 肩 resembles a shoulder, I can't see the resemblance.



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The top left of 「肩」 was originally a picture of the shoulder bone (scapula), most easily illustrated with those used in oracle bone divination from oxen:

《甲骨文合集》32028

(Left) Oracle bone from the Shanghai Museum*. (Right) Binary image of this oracle bone given in 《甲骨文合集》32028.

*Credits to Herr Klugbeisser, CC BY-SA 3.0, original photo at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oracle_bone#/media/File:Orakelknochen.JPG.

Later on, the character became more stylised and abstract. 「肉」 (flesh > body part) was added, perhaps to enhance character recognition of what might otherwise highly resemble 「戶」 or 「耳」.

戰國

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The bone-shape was later firmly corrupted into 「戶」.

東漢

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References:

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2

Outlier has an entry for 肩 that states:

⺼ “meat; body part”

It isn't about how meaty it is but the fact that it is flesh - part of the body.


Yellowbridge's explanations don't generally seem to be correct you might want to consider alternative resources.

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2

⺼in Chinese looks like 月(moon) but actually it came from the miswritten "肉(meat)” or "舟(ship)” which seems similar in ancient Chinese font named XiaoZhuan. For the first meaning, there are characters describing real meat (e.g. 脍) or body part(e.g. 脸,肩,胸,臂,膀,胯,腿,脚)or organ(e.g. 肝,脾,胃,胆,肾).

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